Finding information

Lean Library – All you need to know!

What is Lean Library? It’s browser extension that saves you time, money, and effort. How? Well, Lean Library allows you to read electronic journal articles, e-books, reviews, and other online material provided by the Library, without having to visit Library Search first.

How do you use Lean Library?

Lean Library makes it simpler to access articles, journals, and databases, particularly when you are studying off campus. It automatically detects when you are on a site the Library provides a subscription to and prompts you to log in.

If you visit a site which the Library doesn’t provide access to, the extension will try and suggest an alternative route, including Open Access content.

The browser extension shows an icon in the bookmarks bar. It works almost like a traffic light. If the icon is green, then you have access. A grey icon means that access is denied. If the material you’d like to use doesn’t seem accessible, Lean Library will automatically check for open access versions of the article.

Find out more by watching this short video which explains how the extension works. The technology integrates with Google Scholar, making it even simpler to find what you need.

How can you download it?

The browser extension works with Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari and IOS (mobile). It requires a ‘once only’ installation process of two mouse clicks on your laptop or PC.  

To install Lean Library please visit the Lean Library website:

Simply install the extension and select ‘University of Salford’ and it will pop-up and notify you when you are on a website that it can help with. Please check that you have the latest version of the browser – the extension may not work if the browser is not fully up to date.

If you require any assistance or support with Lean Library please contact the Library!

Anything else that you should know?

Here are a few facts about Lean Library:

  • Lean Library has a ‘highlight and search’ feature. This enables you to highlight key words and phrases on any webpage. Then you can search within the Library for resources that match your highlighted terms, all with one right click!
  • When using Lean Library you will remain completely anonymous. The Lean Library browser extension doesn’t collect any personal information unless you actively share it. It also doesn’t collect your IP address or your device’s unique device IDs.
  • It puts the library resources into the workflow when you need them, making them easily and quickly available. This saves you an average of 3 minutes per search.
  • Did you know that over a third of all academic content is available as an Open Access version? The extension gives you access to 30 million plus Open Access papers.

So, you have a tool you can use that saves you time, money, and effort! What more could you ask for? Why not give it a try and see what you are missing out on!

I have encouraged all the students I have worked with to add the extension to the browser. They have started to see how much time (and money!) they can save as they see how many of the titles they are interested in are available from our Library.

Helen Heyes – Academic Support Librarian

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This blog is written by library staff at the University of Salford.
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